small stones: january 2 & 3

Yesterday, a visit to a favourite shop on Granville Island:

icy cold,
i step into Halfmoon
for a friendly smile & the scent of rejuvenation;
i'm warmed, refreshed & restored.



hands plunged in soapy dishwater,
mind in another time & place,
a warm, soft, furry body leans against my shins
and brings me back to home.



small stone: january 1

4:25 pm

We're at the beginning,
of a new year,
a new writing project,
a commitment,

We wanted to stay indoors,
in warm, familiar, comfortable surroundings.

But we crossed the bridge late today --
the colour and light lured us,
amazed us.

"It's a good omen" said a fellow dog walker we met on the other side.

1/100 in 2011

Can I bend the rules & let this photograph be my small stone for January 1st?

But, if you insist, I'll try a few words:

apricot & tangerine,
indigo & aubergine,
diamonds & sapphires,
platinum & gold

brilliant, bejewelled, richly-hued
sea & sky







The cover of my INK+WIT calendar encourages me to approach 2011 with an excellent "mission statement": pull the weeds, plant good seeds.




INK + WIT 2011 Calendar



Reverb10: December 25 - 31


December 25 – Photo – a present to yourself

Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.  (Author: Tracey Clark)


Me, taken by me, Boxing Day morning, happily photographing the Christmas decorations in my mom's dining room. This past year I was happiest when focused on the present moment and viewing nature or objects of beauty through the camera's lens.



December 26 – Soul Food

What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? (Author: Elise Marie Collins)

As soon as I read this prompt, one balcony-grown garden crop and two new-to-me recipes popped into my mind:

#1) Spring & Early Summer - 'Sea of Red', the prettiest lettuce I've ever grown, which I pinched from the pot and tossed into a salad nearly every day:


 #2) Autumn - Eggplant & tomato sauce from Farmers' Market produce:



Culinate inspired,
Farmers provided,
Hands peeled, chopped, stirred,
Oven roasted,
Pan sizzled,
Mouth tasted....


(Recipe here.)


#3) Winter - Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Hummous Spread, which was part of an evening of savoury & sweet food & talk shared with a close friend:




I'm going to answer the questions from December 27th and 29th together because the responses are directly linked, cause (defining moment) and effect (ordinary joys).

December 27 – Ordinary Joy

Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year? (Author: Brené Brown)

December 29 – Defining Moment

Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year. (Author: Kathryn Fitzmaurice)



More than anything else, starting a 365 project on January 1st, 2010 and then taking photos of the "everyday, ordinary" in my garden or during walks with Piper affected my life. This project has given me many joyful moments.



December 30 – Gift

Prompt: Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?

(Author: Holly Root)

In a word: friendship.


All these prompts have challenged me, but this one, even more so. I'm responding late (December 31st), after a few days of reflection.

December 28 – Achieve

What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.

(Author: Tara Sophia Mohr)

During last night's walk with Piper, I came up with a short list of things I want to achieve in 2011 -- or at least begin working on. Then this morning and afternoon I struggled with paring the list to one "most wanted" thing -- a quality of being rather than a measurable achievement. I published one response, then retracted it because it wasn't quite right. And I'm still struggling this evening. But perhaps -- {A-ha moment} -- the answer is in the struggle.

One thing I'd like to achieve in 2011 is the ability to translate my mind's thoughts and heart's feelings more easily into words (verbal and written) and to be less self-conscious about my speaking and writing.

In terms of personal qualities...well, I'll forever be a work-in-progress but I see the need to pay particular attention to self-knowledge and self-reverence.

Yes, after writing and re-writing many versions of this response, I've come to understand all three are connected -- communicating authentically, knowing myself and valuing all parts of me. So I'll include them in my "most wanted" in 2011.

As for brainstorming...that's work for a rested, fresh mind on January 1st.



December 31 – Core Story

What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.)

(Author: Molly O’Neill)

I don't know the full answer to this question today, though reverb10 has helped me learn about myself. Certainly Greens & Berries and perseverance are part of my core. And one of this blog's raisons d'être is to share and connect with the rest of the world.

As for re-reading reflections and finding threads...hmmm... I see a lot of diversity. So that's at my core, too.



Reverb10: December 18 - 24


In thinking about my responses to these seven questions, I find one leads to the next so I'll put them together in this one post.

December 18 – Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)

December 19 – Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011? (Author: Leonie Allan)

December 20 – Beyond Avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) (Author: Jake Nickell)

December 21 – Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?) (Author: Jenny Blake)

December 22 – Travel. How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year? (Author: Tara Hunt)

December 23 – New Name. Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why? (Author: Becca Wilcott)

December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK. What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? (Author: Kate Inglis)


I think I tried too much rather than too little in 2010. But this was my year to s-t-r-e-t-c-h, wasn't it?

For me, these three are linked together: 1) healing, 2) facing and embracing instead of avoiding changes and the messiness involved, and 3) making plans AND taking action today (even just baby steps) for a healthy future self. The travel prompt makes me think a retreat may be just the thing I need for some of this inner work.

How fun to contemplate a new name especially as the new year approaches. I've always liked "Chloe."

Now can be best moment. I don't always live this way, though. And my life is more than "ok". It is very good -- full of love and opportunities. Reverb10 has led me to many small discoveries that I will carry forward into the year ahead and beyond.